Why do pre-industrial kitchens face north? How can a pre-19th century gravestone be used as a compass and sundial? Why do some 17th century Protestant gravestones face west rather than east?
For answers, consult the students in this week’s summer program at Thomas More College. “Exploring New England I: Ideas and Pathfinding” features classes in New England political history, nature writing, and navigation, as well as numerous field trips to historic and scenic attractions, stargazing, and daily Mass and Rosary. The program runs from June 24-July 7.
Much of the curriculum is new this year, including the navigation class developed by TMC President William Fahey. On day one, students learned the basics of navigation: observing the landscape and human structures in order to learn more about where one is. Architectural features often express directions, weather, and social history. For instance, New England homes traditionally face south for increased warmth from the sun, except when severe weather patterns or a town green indicate a different orientation. Later in the course, students learned how to read a map and use a compass. The course culminates with an extended hike on Mt. Agamenticus and urban navigation in Boston.
Thomas More College is offering two more summer programs this year: “Great Books” from July 15-July 28th, and “Exploring New England II: Adventures on the High Seas” from August 10th-19th. To learn more, visit our Summer Programs page.